Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Think twice before you endorse violence

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Before I go to sleep, here is something to ponder:

So in short, if you would say to me that government must be there to provide ANYTHING you will essentially be saying that you want to force me, by the threat of incarceration or death or any other kind of violence, to buy the service that you want.

At this point any statement which calls in the need for government to do something is equally disgusting to me as a statement like “I would like to rape you or hire someone to rape you every day”.

Now think about that before you go on to march for your pet “cause” like “free government healthcare for all” or “net neutrality legislation” or “proprietary software should be illegal” (yes, that’s for you Richard Stallman).

Statists disgust me.

Good night

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Moral science?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

If I piqued anyone’s interests with my previous entries maybe I can start this one with an open ended question. Do you think there can be such a thing as moral science?

To define it, it would be equal essentially to physical or biological science in that it would describe universal processes that go on in the world or within a specific set, like human beings.

A moral science would thus describe at the very least, a framework according to which to determine how ALL people form their morals and at most determine the actual morals that are universal to all people.

It is important to distinguish this from the imposition of ones morals on to others. This would not be the objective of moral science anymore than it is an objective of physical sciences to impose ones arbitrary idea of why objects attract each other on to all others to believe. It is about observing, hypothesizing and then testing the hypothesis.

Someone attempted to create such a scientific framework already. I’m not sure he’s the only one (probably not), but he’s the one who caught my attention. He is Stefan Molyneux and his theory is called “Universally Preferable Behavior“. I’ve read Part 1 where he explains most of his theory and I have to say it’s quite interesting. Stefan Molyneux is quite an unorthodox and somewhat controversial philosopher with a bit of a cult following. My assumption is that the latter is due to him being one of those easily impressive people with leadership qualities that tend to, intentionally or not, attract a little too much zeal from those impressed. I’m not a big fan of personallity cults, but it’s no reason to completely dismiss the man and his ideas. Often the best and most revolutionary ideas have been brought about by most controversial of persons.

But I’m not necessarily making up my mind about whether UPB is a valid moral science theory or not. By default I do subscribe, to an extent, to moral relativism if not because I believe that morals are always subjective and cannot be a part of predictable patterns, then because I don’t yet understand such patterns. Just because something hasn’t been discovered yet, doesn’t mean it wont be, and attempts like the UPB are thus worth paying attention to.

One thing I continue to believe as strongly as ever though is this. I can hardly go wrong if I adopt only a single moral principle, or just The Principle if you wish, a “prime directive” to use trek-speak: non-initiation of force. Whether one is a moral absolutist or a moral relativist if both can agree that at least we wont force each others beliefs and morals on to each other we can make tremendous proggress as we continue to journey through life and explore the world and our beliefs.

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The merger of realities

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

A little upgrade on last entry. I’m just trying to get this stuff out of my mind.

Taking the assumption that reality is relative to you while at the same time believing in the distinct possibility that this subjective reality of yours is based upon the absolute reality outside of you, what do you do when you are trying to convince someone that what you believe is real? Well, of course, you debate, but if both of you are assumed to have different realities then it would make sense to identify the commonalities between them.

You define the terms you use to make your claim and seek agreement from your partner on those terms. By this process you are identifying a common paradigm according to which you would judge your arguments, like defining the rules of the game. Once they have been defined and ones argument breaks them, their arguments must be taken as failing.

And I believe most people who would call themselves reasonable and are privy to scientific method would almost universally, take two things into the common paradigms: internal consistency (no logical contradictions) and empirical consistency (no contradictory evidence from reality you both defined as such).

Also it is crucial to ask questions. If you’re in doubt about whether you’re “on the same page”, that your subjectivie realities are in misalignment, nothing can detect and solve the problem better than questions. You ask your partner; so do you think this is or this isn’t? Ask questions until you understand where he’s coming from and can then see if you can match where you’re coming from with it or dispute the entire framework of thinking.

A relativist described previously would possibly just call the whole debate an illusion, but who cares about them relativists. ;) More reasonable ones would say this is a merger of realities, because in the process of pinging the reality of another you are identifying the common points and thus seeing evidence of reality that is beyond only your subjectivity, but is actually objective to both. That’d be more sensible, if you ask me. And yes, that belief reflects my own subjective reality and needs to be understood if anyone is to continue debating reality with me, among other things. :P

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Exploring animal rights

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I sometimes get into heated discussions with my (former) friend regarding my belief that all human action must be voluntary and that therefore we should have no coercive government (instead each individual should govern himself). We rarely agree on any point and never agree on our paradigms. Right now I even doubt whether he has a consistent paradigm due to his apparently absolutist relativist thinking, but I digress (and absolute relativism may be a good topic for some other entry).

One good thing that I take out of the recent debate is my curiosity about the issue of animal rights. Since my last blog entry effectively posits that rights are inherent in being what and who you are rather than something given by others it does not in principle discriminate between species. It applies to every thing and every one in the universe. In that entry my focus was on humans though and here I want to focus on animals.

The basic premise of the previous entry was that if one was capable of something one must have the right to exercise that something so long as it doesn’t deny another to exercise his own capabilities. To deny the existence of this right is to deny the existence of this capability and since it is what makes one what it is, it means to deny its existence as such.

According to this, an animal which is alive has the right to live. If it is capable of marking property as its own it has the right to property. If it is capable of barking, running, crying and doing anything else it can do, it has the right to do all these things. The logical conclusion would seem to be that if a human denies and violates any of these rights, even while professing to be a voluntaryist like me, is not being consistent OR is suffering from what my (former) friend called “specieism” (an equivalent to racism) where I believe only humans can have rights even when I see the evidence that others are capable of having rights too.

Then the only way to keep voluntaryism consistent with itself, without falling into specieism, is to either prove that a given animal is not capable of having a particular right which we habitually deny them.

Driven by that I started a discussion thread on one of the voluntaryist forums and also with a friend on IRC. I posed this as a potential threat to logical consistency of voluntaryism. What we concluded is something that I apparently overlooked. I even hinted at it in an above sentence where I mentioned being “capable of having rights”. It is the issue of demanding rights.

A human may exist as a human only so long as he can exercise what makes him human, including demand. If we look at history only those who cared about rights and demanded and defended them have ever been admitted to them. Otherwise their humanity was suppressed by other humans.

A definition of “demand” could be useful. According to wiktionary it corresponds to a need, desire, claim for something, an urgent request or an order. A demand for rights, that is the recognition and respect of self as such then corresponds to a need, desire, claim, request or order to be recognized as yourself.

Are animals, then, capable of demanding their rights? I think the answer depends on whether they recognize their own rights to begin with, recognizing their own capabilities and what makes them themselves. In other words, it seems to come back to the question of whether they are self-aware? If they are not even aware of themselves as what they are then they don’t even recognize their own rights as part of who they are and are thus incapable of demanding such recognition from others. This is why most animals also willfully aggress on other animals and why humans which fail to recognize their own rights also tend to fail respecting the rights of others. Such lack of recognition results in violence.

It is hard to answer this question with absolute certainty, but given what we can scientifically determine so far is that animals aren’t self aware in which case the capability of demanding rights is not a part of who they are and thus granting them to live or do anything that they are instinctually driven to is up to anyone in their vicinity, whether it is another animal or a human. This is what makes it possible for a human to own an animal and let it do some things while denying it to do others.

This is also consistent with the known and widespread belief (even among non-voluntaryists) that only sentient rights can have rights. I think I understand better now the basis of this claim. The emphasis is on can. Whether they can or can’t depends on whether they are sentient.

This said, every individual decides for himself what sights or acts does he prefers more or less and I would say I don’t like the sight of a human torturing animals. I therefore reserve the right to ostracise everyone who does this. Animals might not be capable of having rights, but I am capable of feeling disgusted when they are being hurt for no good reason and based on this disgust I can make or break my relationships with other humans, at least this way, through non-forceful action, sending a signal to them that I don’t approve.

And like with everything in the free market, the more people demand of others not to do something less people are likely to do it.

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Everything happens for a reason.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

The more I understand causality the less I believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. A reason for every event is its cause. Where conscious choice is involved, the cause may be a purpose of the one who chooses. I pursue a goal, thus I act to produce a cause that will produce an event that is a part of the chain of events that leads to the achievement of my goal – my purpose.

The more one knows and understands the multitude of causality chains affecting ones pursuit of purpose the more powerful one is. Having a defined purpose is, however, a pre-requisite.

We may be facing a new Great Depression in this world, and a subsequent resurgence of violent fascism and war. This too happens for a reason. Some would say it’s prophecies coming true. Others would blame human inability to resist violence (which results in governments tyranizing markets of otherwise free people). Some would say both, or some other imaginative reason.

But whatever we say or believe the reason exists and it is what it is regardless of what someone thinks it is. The closer one is to the truth of what this reason is, and moreover what all to one relevant reasons are, the more powerful one is.

Great Depression and increases of threatening violence easily instill fear in us, but there is an illusive truth somewhere in my mind which seems to hold the key which opens the doors out of that prison of fear and into the endless realm of possibilities. Where even in the worst of times one can have a world of his own. Once you rise above the chains of events – the causalities of our time and sees what they are you can mold it to your will. Even if you can’t change the whole world, since it involves others who may have the same power as you, you can transform your world.

But it is an elusive truth. My guess would be that it reflects, one way or another, the exact belief that is the topic of this post: everything happens for a reason.

So perhaps, if you find and know the reason to everything that affects you and everything you want to be affected by you can act against reactions that press you down and instill fear in you, to create the consequences that do the opposite – empowering you.

Maybe the greatest of souls will be born during the hard times that are coming. Maybe the singularity, the awakening, the new enlightenment, the transition, the evolutionary leap – will happen when the times seem the darkest.

And perhaps it will be a deliberate act by the few and a react by the many inspired by those few, that will bring it about.

Freedom is a state of mind. So is serenity and power. Rewiring a mind to these states is a painful process, but it is possible.

As the banks fall and violence rises, let us be ready. A powerful mind can stop bullets before they’ve been fired and make a mountain out of a depression.

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The Beauty of the Free Market and.. Wall Fountains

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Lately I sometimes look around me and visualize how all that I’m seeing has been made by someone working for some sort of an incentive, a form of profit. And as I’m thinking about it this way I can’t not to see the beauty embedded in the free market – how it makes people strive do the best job, to make something look good or function good, really put themselves into it, only so that the buyer can choose their product of labor instead of someone else’s.

Take for instance this site I recently came about. I have a soft spot for cool interior arrangements (I even have a nice decorative LED lamp to make my room more colorful at night), and this site offers some really great, I could say, works of art.
Soothing Walls are fountains pouring over cool looking patterns on stone, glass, ceramic or concrete shapes which are meant to not only decorate, but add a soothing experience to the room it decorates. They have indoor fountains, wall mounted fountains and even custom made fountains where you can, for instance, have a symbol, logo or a favorite inspiring quote inscribed on it.

They really made sure that they have a full service as far as decoration fountains go and their site further indicates that they’ve put some thought into it. You can browse by various kinds of fountains, zoom in on the photos by a simple hover of the mouse (or just click for a much larger picture) and choose various additional options applicable to a specific item of interest. On top of that they even offer online live support and free shipping. I’d say that’s a good deal! :)

Speaking of fountains, here’s one of my favorite wall fountains; a metallic frame, smooth lighting and blue letters – pretty much my style. But for something more affordable this Water Panel Tabletop Fountain looks just awesome.

Now just imagine if government regulated what kinds of walls you were allowed to have in your house or how big an indoor wall fountain should be. I mean, people could drown in the fountain water! We gotta regulate that, right? ;) I’m being perhaps overly sarcastic of course, but the point is that the free market actors, indeed like Soothing Walls, always offer the best service and most creative and beautiful products when left free to produce on their own accord.


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Sunday, August 10th, 2008

I’ve done a mockup for the graphic header of the upcoming

Double Plus Human

It presents a human standing at the top of a cold stone or iron made structure with his/her hands risen up into the night sky.

Nothing can stop a human who is free and the site will be dedicated to helping people free their minds and avoid being dehumanized in the coming times.

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